Παρασκευή, 30 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

ScienceDaily: Top Technology News

Solar panel manufacturing is greener in Europe than China, study says

Posted: 29 May 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Solar panels made in China have a higher overall carbon footprint and are likely to use substantially more energy during manufacturing than those made in Europe, said a new study. The team performed a type of systematic evaluation called life cycle analysis to come up with these hard data. Life cycle analysis tallies up all the energy used to make a product -- energy to mine raw materials, fuel to transport the materials and products, electricity to power the processing factory, and so forth.

Deception improved athletic performance

Posted: 29 May 2014 12:40 PM PDT

Researchers say a little deception caused cyclists in their 4K time trial to up their performance even after they realized they had been tricked. The findings support the idea that the brain plays a powerful role in how hard athletes push their bodies.

Drop in global malnutrition depends on agricultural productivity, climate change

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Global malnutrition could fall 84 percent by the year 2050 as incomes in developing countries grow -- but only if agricultural productivity continues to improve and climate change does not severely damage agriculture, researchers say. According to the researchers' models, income growth coupled with projected increases in agricultural productivity could raise more than half a billion people out of extreme hunger by mid-century.

NASA missions let scientists see moon's dancing tide from orbit

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Scientists combined observations from two NASA missions to check out the moon's lopsided shape and how it changes under Earth's sway -- a response not seen from orbit before. The lopsided shape of the moon is one result of its gravitational tug-of-war with Earth. The mutual pulling of the two bodies is powerful enough to stretch them both, so they wind up shaped a little like two eggs with their ends pointing toward one another. On Earth, the tension has an especially strong effect on the oceans, because water moves so freely, and is the driving force behind tides.

Mode of transportation affects how we feel, study finds

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

People are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation, a new study has found. Researchers investigated how emotions like happiness, pain, stress, sadness and fatigue vary during travel and by travel mode. After bicyclists, the next happiest are car passengers and then car drivers. Bus and train riders experience the most negative emotions, though a small part of this can be attributed to the fact that mass transit is disproportionately used for commuting to and from work, according to the researchers.

Unexpected water explains surface chemistry of nanocrystals

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Researchers have found unexpected traces of water in semiconducting nanocrystals that helps answer long-standing questions about their surface chemistry. The water as a source of small ions for the surface of colloidal lead sulfide (PbS) nanoparticles allowed the team to explain just how the surface of these important particles are passivated, meaning how they achieve an overall balance of positive and negative ions. This has been a big question for some fifteen years, and the answer washes up in hydroxyl groups from water that had been thought not to be there.

Common semiconductors stabalized for solar fuels generation

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Researchers have devised a method for protecting technologically important semiconductors from corrosion even as the materials continue to absorb light efficiently. The finding paves the way for the use of these materials in solar-fuel generators.

Engineering a better way to rebuild bone inside the body

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:22 AM PDT

Traumatic bone injuries such as blast wounds are often so severe that the body can't effectively repair the damage on its own. To aid the recovery, clinicians inject patients with proteins called growth factors. The treatment is costly, requiring large amounts of expensive growth factors. The growth factors also disperse, creating unwanted bone formation in the area around the injury. A new technology under development could one day provide more efficient delivery of the bone regenerating growth factors with greater accuracy and at a lower cost.

Scientists Pinpoint the Creeping Nanocrystals Behind Lithium-Ion Battery Degradation

Posted: 29 May 2014 08:12 AM PDT

Batteries do not age gracefully. The lithium ions that power portable electronics cause lingering structural damage with each cycle of charge and discharge, making devices from smartphones to tablets tick toward zero faster and faster over time. To stop or slow this steady degradation, scientists must track and tweak the imperfect chemistry of lithium-ion batteries with nanoscale precision. Scientists have mapped the nanoscale dynamics of lithium-ion charge cycles and discovered never-before-seen evolution and degradation patterns in two key battery materials.

New laser sensing technology for self-driving cars, smartphones and 3-D video games

Posted: 29 May 2014 07:07 AM PDT

A new twist on 3-D imaging technology could one day enable your self-driving car to spot a child in the street half a block away, let you answer your Smartphone from across the room with a wave of your hand, or play "virtual tennis" on your driveway.

Heavy airplane traffic potentially a major contributor to pollution in Los Angeles

Posted: 29 May 2014 07:07 AM PDT

Congested freeways crawling with cars and trucks are notorious for causing smog in Los Angeles, but a new study finds that heavy airplane traffic can contribute even more pollution, and the effect continues for up to 10 miles away from the airport. The report has serious implications for the health of residents near Los Angeles International Airport and other airports around the world.

'Listening' helps scientists track bats without exposing animals to disease

Posted: 29 May 2014 07:07 AM PDT

A sampling technique known as acoustic monitoring -- listening to bats in their environment -- has been improved, thanks to new research. The noninvasive tracking technique avoids transmission of diseases that could occur with handling bats. Acoustic monitoring -- listening to bats in their environment as they commute between feeding areas using echolocation to "see" their surroundings and find insect prey -- has become commonplace over the last decade.

Online students' stress, sense of belonging being studied

Posted: 29 May 2014 06:28 AM PDT

The experiences of online and traditional master's degree students has been the focus of a study by one nursing professor. Health care experts have called on nurses nationwide to continue their education through lifelong learning to elevate patient care and community health. Nursing schools across the country also turn away thousands of applicants each year because they lack capacity. More graduate-level nurses also are needed to teach a new generation.

Spruce up your selfie: A new algorithm could transfer acclaimed photographers' signature styles to cellphone photos

Posted: 29 May 2014 06:28 AM PDT

Celebrated portrait photographers like Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, and Martin Schoeller made their reputations with distinctive visual styles that sometimes required the careful control of lighting possible only in the studio. Now researchers have developed an algorithm that could allow you to transfer those distinctive styles to your own cellphone photos.

Cure for dry eye could be a blink away

Posted: 28 May 2014 12:06 PM PDT

The basic motion of tear film traversing the eye has been the focus of recent study. Dry eye -- a burning, gritty condition that can impair vision and damage the cornea -- is a common condition without a cure. Many causes, including the aging process, contribute to discomfort resulting from either a lack of tears or tears that evaporate too quickly. A treatment for dry eye could some day result from computer simulations that map the way tears move across the surface of the eye.

Sight for sore eyes: Augmented reality without the discomfort

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:53 AM PDT

A major limitation Google-glass-like devices is that moving back and forth between a 2-D image on the screen and a 3-D world in front of you causes eye strain. Now a new device is making augmented reality technology easier on the eyes by superimposing 3-D images instead of 2-D.

Better catalysts for petrochemical industry

Posted: 28 May 2014 07:53 AM PDT

When crude oil is refined to fuels and chemicals, help is at hand -- in the form of so-called catalysts. Scientists now provide a reference parameter for the performance of an important class of catalysts for petrochemical production.

Wood-waste biofuel to cut greenhouse gas, transform shipping industry

Posted: 27 May 2014 08:45 AM PDT

A sustainable biofuel made from Norwegian forest wood waste could help transform the shipping industry and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative sustainable fuels are urgently needed in the marine transport sector due to stringent upcoming regulations demanding reduced sulphur and carbon content in diesels and oils from January 2015.

More sustainable thermosolar plants thanks to hybridization with biomethane

Posted: 27 May 2014 05:55 AM PDT

The integration of biomethane in concentrating solar thermal power plants would facilitate the commercial introduction of concentrating solar power (CSP) technology in the energy market, reducing both financial and environmental costs. Researchers are studying the integration process of biomethane.

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